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Department of Mathematics

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Professor Mohammed Named as David Blackwell Lecturer

Dr. Salah E.A. Mohammed, Professor and Distinguished Scholar, Department of Mathematics, has been named as the David Blackwell Lecturer at the Mathematical Association of America (M.A.A.) MathFest to be held in Madison, Wisconsin, July 30 – August 2, 2008. MathFest is the largest annual summer meeting of mathematicians in the United States. Last August, MathFest drew more than 1,400 attendees to San Jose, California. See the full scientific program for this year’s MathFest (which includes a complete list of M.A.A. invited addresses and their abstracts).

Dr. Mohammed is an internationally recognized expert and world leader in the field of stochastic analysis. He earned a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Warwick, England, in 1976, and joined the faculty of SIUC in 1984. He attained the rank of Professor in the Department of Mathematics in 1989. Dr. Mohammed was awarded a Visiting Professorship at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley, California, for the 1997-1998 academic year, and he was a Scientist in Residence at the prestigious Mittag-Leffler Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, at the invitation of the Royal Swedish Academy of Science from September 1 to December 15, 2007. Dr. Mohammed’s research has also been supported by a Visiting Research Fellowship at the Institute for Mathematics and Its Applications in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and by an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship, under which he has conducted research in German institutes during several periods of his career, most recently in the summer of 2007. His research work has received continuous grant support from the National Science Foundation since 1989. Dr. Mohammed was recognized as the SIUC Excellence Through Commitment Outstanding Scholar in 2006. Further details regarding Dr. Mohammed’s research can be found at his website http://sfde.math.siu.edu.

The first Blackwell Lecture was given in 1994, and it has been given annually at the summer meeting of the M.A.A. since then. The lecture is sponsored by the National Association of Mathematicians, a non-profit professional organization formed in 1969 to, among other things, increase the numbers of the then very few African-American mathematicians. According to the organization’s website www.nam-math.org, this organization “has always had as its main objectives, the promotion of excellence in the mathematical sciences and the promotion of the mathematical development of underrepresented American minorities”.

This lecture is named in honor of David Harold Blackwell, who is generally recognized as one of the greatest African American mathematicians. He earned a Ph.D. at the University of Illinois in 1941 at the age of 22, becoming only the seventh African American to receive a Ph.D. in Mathematics. In 1954, he was appointed Professor of Statistics at the University of California at Berkeley, where he served as chair of the Department of Statistics for many years. He is the first and only African American to be any one of: a member of the National Academy of Sciences (to which he was named in 1965), a President of the American Statistical Society, and a Vice President of the American Mathematical Society. He is also an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society.

Professor Mohammed will deliver his lecture, titled “Random Dynamics and Memory: Structure Within Chaos”, at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, August 1. An abstract of the talk is available at http://sfde.math.siu.edu/Blackwellabstract1.pdf.

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Professor Mohammed Invited to the Mittag-Leffler Institute

Prof. Salah Mohammed (in slippers) with colleagues at Mittag-Leffler Institute. On the left of the picture is Professor Bernt Oksendal, a member of the Norwegian Academy of Sciences. The institute is housed in an historic century-old building, kept so``super-clean
Professor Mohammed with colleagues in the coffee room of the Mittag-Leffler Institute. On the left of the picture is Professor Bernt Oksendal, a member of the Norwegian Academy of Sciences. The institute is housed in an historic century-old building, kept so``super-clean" that no shoes are allowed inside the building!

Salah E.A. Mohammed, Professor of Mathematics and Distinguished Scholar, is a scientist in residence at the prestigious Mittag-Leffler Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, from September 1, 2007 through December 15, 2007, participating in a special research semester on Stochastic Partial Differential Equations and Applications. Participation in the scientific programs at the Institute is by invitation only by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, an institution internationally recognized for its role in the awarding of the Nobel Prizes. Each academic year a theme or topic of importance in mathematical research is chosen at the Institute, and scholars from around the world are invited to participate in a special semester designed to advance research and facilitate interactions between senior and junior researchers in that field. Professor Mohammed was recognized as the 2006 Excellence Through Commitment University Outstanding Scholar for his pioneering work in the area of stochastic analysis.

Professor Salah Mohammed's research stay at the Mittag-Leffler Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, was at the invitation of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Further information on the Institute can be found at http://www.mittag-leffler.se. Additional information regarding Professor Mohammed's research and academic experience can be found at http://sfde.math.siu.edu.




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Two Mathematics Majors Named 2006-2007 Goldwater Scholars

SIUC mathematics students Austin T. Mohr, center standing, and  Kathleen M. Lask, seated, are recipients of prestigious Goldwater Scholarships for 2006-2007. They are flanked by John M. Dunn, former SIUC provost and vice chancellor  and current interim chancellor, and Walter V. Wendler, former SIUC
SIUC mathematics students Austin T. Mohr, center standing, and Kathleen M. Lask, seated, are recipients of prestigious Goldwater Scholarships for 2006-2007. They are flanked by John M. Dunn, former SIUC Provost and Vice Chancellor and current Interim Chancellor, and Walter V. Wendler, former SIUC Chancellor.

Two SIUC students with majors in mathematics are among just 323 students nationwide who are receiving scholarships for 2006-2007 from the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. Kathleen M. Lask, a junior majoring in physics and mathematics, and Austin T. Mohr, a senior majoring in mathematics and computer science, are among only 11 students in Illinois to receive the honor. Each is receiving $7,500 for the 2006-2007 school year to cover the costs of tuition, fees, books, and room and board.

The Goldwater Foundation is a federally endowed agency created in 1986. The program, which honors the late Sen. Barry M. Goldwater of Arizona, is aimed at assisting outstanding students in mathematics, natural sciences and engineering. The foundation selects Goldwater Scholars on the basis of academic merit. Lask and Mohr became the second and third SIUC students to be selected for these prestigious scholarships.

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Joshua Boone Wins First Place in 2006 Undergraduate Research Forum

Joshua Boone with his prize-winning research poster.
Joshua Boone with his prize-winning research poster.

Mathematics major Joshua Boone was awarded first place and a $150 prize for the poster that he presented at the 2006 Undergraduate Research Forum held at the SIU Student Center. Josh’s poster was based on his research project “Production of Diffraction Patterns from Escher Crystals” with faculty mentor David Kammler. The Undergraduate Research Forum is part of the SIUC Undergraduate Research Program, and was sponsored by the Office of Research Development and Administration and the Office of the Provost. Josh earned his B.S. degree in Mathematics in Spring 2006 and is currently enrolled in the department’s M.S. program.

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